Adam Silver: Some NBA players could compete in games for ‘national psyche’
Whenever the NBA ends it hiatus, the league faces a couple key questions:
But apparently players could take the court for a game completely outside the existing paradigm.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver on ESPN:
Reminder: The NBA was forced into suspending its season only after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. Hours earlier, the league was reportedly planning to continue games, just without fans present – something we now understand could have been disastrous. The NBA got lucky with Gobert’s early diagnosis – and that’s putting it generously. Gobert put himself at greater risk of contracting coronavirus. His recklessness increased the odds of the NBA being positioned to pat itself on the back as a leader in this crisis.
The NBA is a business that operates as a business. Sometimes, that overlaps with virtue. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But the driver is almost always financial.
This is not a criticism. It’s an acknowledgement of reality.
Silver is right: We should be concerned with both the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. Lost jobs also bring significant consequences.
And of course, the NBA would love to be on the front lines of earning money again. The league, already hit hard by the China controversy last fall, is losing significant revenue amid this stoppage. A resumption of play in any form could have widespread benefits – to charities and arena works Silver alluded to, to players and, of course, to owners.
It could also lift the national psyche. We do use sports as a diversion and entertainment.
Silver isn’t wrong on any of this. Just remember his motivations as he spins toward the most altruistic reasons for playing.
Then, if these types of games happen, enjoy them. We needn’t resent the NBA for making money – especially when it leads to a product that gives us pleasure.